When and Where it Matters

By Elijah Collins

11:43 pm: The dull brightness on his phone kept him paying attention. He stared at the blinking blue line that urged him to keep writing.


12:16 am: Everyone had gone to sleep now, and the house was silent. He stood up out of bed and quietly paced, still staring at the blank screen. He wrote late at night because his brain worked better then.



Or was it the silence that helped? The calm that allowed him to concentrate on his brain, his thoughts —


The phone rang. The noise was shrill and piercing through the pitch black. He winced and checked the screen. It was no one he knew.


The air of calmness soon returned, and he thought some more. It wouldn't be like this forever. School was starting. His brother was leaving for his second year of college, and this time he would be alone even more than before.


No more listening to his brother laughing through the wall that separated their bedrooms. No more talking about Harry Potter books and films. Nothing until his brother would come back for his first break from college. He would be farther away this year – nearly a ten hour drive. He wasn’t ready to be that far from his brother. He wasn’t ready for the silence.


12:22 am: He was lying back in his bedroom again. He had words on the document now, and he was hesitant to put more. What was he supposed to say?


A spider came out of nowhere and he flinched, nearly tossing his blankets everywhere. His dog, lying on the floor, jumped up and shook himself, his collar jangling. He shushed the dog and got rid of the spider. The house seemed tranquil once more.


12:25 am: He felt tired. Often, he stayed up later than this, but no...he really felt tired. He was fixing his sleep schedule so it wouldn't be horrendous when school started up. That was the last thing he needed.


He slowly closed his eyes and calmed his breathing. He listened to what everything around him withheld. Nothing moved, nothing rustled or whined, and his dog was asleep once more.


Nothing poked at him, nothing barked or growled, nothing laughed or cried - he knew what everything around him had to offer.

Silence.


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